Writopia Lab is a national community of young writers and storytellers.

We are committed to cultivating a safe and intellectual space for student-focused, joy-inducing instruction in creative writing and more. In order to help you explore our wide range of programs, this guide is designed to help you find a program that suits your needs.

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Writopia Lab staff members contribute to this blog in order to broaden and deepen the public discourse around literacy education in connection to edu-policy, youth mental health, and social justice.

The Writopia Lab Training Institute

I absolutely recommend this class. Discussions and readings changed my thinking about how to teach writing... The classes were fun especially the writing games and exercises. I felt like a kid again.

NYC DOE educator's evaluation of Writopia Lab's Training Institute

Professional Development Courses

  • The Mini-Workshop
  • Bridging the Gap Between Creative and Essay Writing in ELA

  • The Mini-Workshop

    Training Institute Workshops Fier

    Writopia Lab is an NYSED-approved CTLE sponsor. Our mini-workshops are applicable to CTLE hours and professional certification within the New York City Department of Education.These workshops focus on specific themes and concepts that apply to whole-class instruction on creative and essay writing. Participants who sign up for these sessions will be trained in games and pedagogy directly applicable to the classroom and curriculum development. Please view our offerings below and sign up for a workshop today!

    • Thursday, June 7th (9 AM to 12 PM)
    Location and Registration

    These workshops are at Writopia Lab’s space at 486 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY, 10024. Upon request, we will run The Writopia Mini Workshop at schools. Register here or email ProfessionalDevelopment@writopialab.org for the workshop option that best suits your needs.

    Mini-Workshop Fee

    Your Name (Last, First):
    Your School:

    Mini-Workshop Offerings

    Mini-Workshop FAQ

    All workshops will be offered for teachers of grades three through twelve.

    Building Strong Choices: Structure and Narrative Elements in Short Story (Creative Writing)

    In this workshop, participants study interactive ways to teach plot structure, perspective, and tense. Group writing exercises are the focus of this session and provide teachers with new techniques to engage students during instruction. A pedagogy of interactive play guides this session in its application to whole class instruction. Participants will leave this session with new games and classroom management techniques that are directly applicable to the classroom. Mini-Workshop FAQ

    Innovation: Generating New Story Ideas for Writing Topics and Delving Deeper into Them (Creative Writing)

    In this workshop, participants explore new teaching techniques that help generate fresh ideas and deepen writing output in the classroom. Participants learn new, interactive writing exercises that can be implemented in whole class or one-on-one instruction. This workshop aims to provide teachers with fun, engaging creative writing games that promote critical thinking and help students generate unique ideas during story development. These games help students write beyond the themes of mentor texts and enjoy the fulfillment of writing original stories. Mini-Workshop FAQ

    Innovation: Thesis Development and Inspiring Connection to Ideas (Essay Writing)

    In this workshop, participants learn and practice interactive thinking and writing games that invigorate student engagement and that inspire and deepen the complexity of thesis development in the classroom. Participants leave this session with new instructional methods that foster a culture of genuine inquiry in their classrooms. Participants also leave with clear directives that enhance whole class instruction and help students formulate specific claims in their thesis statements that they feel invested in. Mini-Workshop FAQ

    Building Strong Choices: Engaging Ways for Whole Class Teaching of Essay Structure (Essay Writing)

    In this workshop, participants learn new techniques in approaching essay structure in the classroom. Participants study innovative teaching methods, interactive classroom activities, and key concepts for instruction of these activities. Games are played in real time with instructors and are then practiced in breakout sessions. Participants leave with a better understanding of new exercises, tips for implementation, and reference materials for whole class instruction. Mini-Workshop FAQ

    Interconnection: The Bridging of Creative and Essay Writing in the Classroom (Creative and Essay Writing)

    In this workshop, participants examine the innate relationship between creative and essay writing. Through critical readings from acclaimed scholars and comparisons of classroom instruction versus third spaces, participants gain a better understanding of an effective fusion of these two types of writing. In breakout sessions, participants practice games and obtain practical tools for direct implementation in whole class instruction. Participants leave more connected to their own writer self and with tools to inspire student investment in writing projects. Subsections: Structure, Innovation, Effective endings, Voice/Purpose, etc. Mini-Workshop FAQ

    Bridging the Gap Between Creative and Essay Writing in ELA

    This course is designed to provide participants with the best practices to integrate essay writing and creative writing into classroom curriculum. This focus will help their students discover essay writing as an exciting, engaging activity that requires creative thinking and clear, original expression. This course tackles how to build a student’s self-confidence and voice throughout the entire ELA curriculum. The course covers topics that will help participants connect simultaneously to themselves as writers and to their students as fellow writers. It teaches writing games specific to both creative and essay writing and covers the ways these two forms of writing interconnect and complement one another.

    Particular emphasis is placed on writing games designed specifically to bring joy and critical thinking into essay writing curriculum. Participants partake in these games themselves to learn first-hand the application of these games to student learning. Participants will have the opportunity to create a lesson plan that integrates the two genres of writing. The course will ultimately leave participants with insights and lesson plans that can be directly brought into their broader curriculum. Teaching methods include writing exercises, lectures, critical readings, classroom discussion, feedback, sharing, and writing assignments. All written work will be done on Google Docs. Participants will be provided with a laptop onsite upon request.

    Bridging the Gap Between Creative and Essay Writing in ELA is a DOE After School Professional Development Program. To begin the registration process, fill out our online form. Registration must also be completed through the ASPDP’s course catalog. Please submit payment for our Education Partner fee below to confirm your spot.

    • Monday, July 9, 2018
    • Tuesday, July 10, 2018
    • Wednesday, July 11, 2018
    • Thursday, July 12, 2018

    All sessions meet from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

    Name (Last, First):
    Start Date:

    Other Professional Development Opportunities

    inschool040116Thanks to the Pinkerton Foundation, Writopia launched the Writopia Training Institute in 2016. We have since partnered with many public and private schools and community-based organizations in New York City and Washington D.C. to share our most effective methods with hundreds of classroom teachers and after school education directors. Our mission is to give classroom teachers and after-school educators instructional tools to help their students fall in love, or deepen their love, of writing and improve their literacy and literary skills along the way.

    We train classroom teachers and nonprofit leaders from organizations that serve low-income youths and graduate-level volunteers from NYC’s graduate schools.

    We offer in-person sessions with administrators, teachers, and community based organizations in the tri-state area. These sessions can happen on-site at the school or organization, as well as at Writopia Lab's National Headquarters in Manhattan.


    We have provided professional development to teachers from Stuyvesant High School, La Scuola d'Italia, Association to Benefit Children, Goddard Riverside, University Settlement House, and many other schools and organizations through the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development. For schools and organizations further afield, we offer online sessions for local, national, and international schools. Our fees vary depending upon the location of the school.

    Schools and nonprofits can request tailored enrichment training sessions for their staff. To inquire further and bring the training program to your school, please contact ProfessionalDevelopment@writopialab.org.

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    Writopia Birthday Party!

    Celebrate your special day with Writopia Lab! Enjoy hilarious character games, group stories, and a wonderful experience with your friends. Each birthday party is tailored to the vision of the Birthday Writer; writers decide the theme, decorations, and activities for the event. Parties are led by a Writopia author or playwright, and Writopia staff, and are infused with warmth, fun, silliness, surprises, and wonderful new writing.

    Party includes

    • 6 to 12 participants not including the Birthday Writer
    • Decorations
    • Balloons
    • Snacks
    • Paper Goods

    The fee for Writopia parties start at $650 and varies depending on number of participants, rooms used, and Writopia instructors. Please contact Danielle@writopialab.org to discuss your Writopia birthday party.

    Birthday Party Picture JulianaBdayPic

    Writing as Witness

    “Part of my responsibility as a witness was to move as largely and as freely as possible to write the story and to get it out.”

    -- James Baldwin
    How can writers surpass the role of spectator and become witnesses to the current narrative? The Writing as Witness workshop challenges writers to use their writing as a tool for change. The workshop will use texts from writers like James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates to discuss the racial tensions that writers witness and experience in their own lives. Writers will then develop their own narratives that explore racially charged situations in which they were either a witness or a participant.

    Write-a-Thon Donations

    Thank you for supporting our 2018 Write-a-Thon, and for your most generous contribution to Writopia Lab. Your donation makes it possible for us to bring our literacy program to children and teens at Homes for the Homeless Saratoga Family , teens who are in need of literacy support, enrichment, and empowerment. Thank you for giving us the honor of dedicating our days to helping young people find their voices, turn pain into power, turn ideas into accomplishments, and achieve their award-winning potential regardless of their economic status. We hope to stay connected with you and see you soon!

    Please submit payment for your pledge below.

    With much gratitude,

    Rebecca Wallace-Segall
    Executive Director

    Write-In Location
    Writer's name


    In this workshop, each writer will create an interactive adventure, set in a world that the workshop will develop as a group. Over the course of ten weeks, they will invent a world, create a story, and be introduced to running the adventure for a group. Inspired by tabletop role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, Writopia’s Worldbuilding Workshop is designed to give our young writers a place to let their imaginations run wild together.

    Worldbuilding at Writopia Lab Worldbuilding at Writopia Lab

    Worldbuilding starts with setting, instead of characters, flipping what our worldbuilders know about creative writing on its head and challenging them to think in new ways. When crafting an interactive adventure, it is important to learn to relinquish control to the player and let them guide the narrative. That also means writing an adventure that can accommodate the unexpected. To that end, worldbuilders will learn how to craft a rich backdrop to their epic storyline, explore the beginnings of interactive game design, and even practice improvisational performance through leading their adventure.

    The workshop will culminate in a 90-minute play session where each worldbuilder will lead a group through their piece of the adventure.

    Worldbuilding at Writopia Lab Worldbuilding at Writopia Lab

    Browse by Program Type

    Writopia offers instruction in a variety of narrative art forms and mediums.

    Browse by Schedule LINK

    We're in session all year round—school year, summer and holiday breaks!

    Browse our Off-Site Workshops LINK

    Learn about Writopia’s programs offered beyond our Labs—in public and private schools, at our partner organizations, and more!

    Learn more about additional enrichment opportunities for young writers, e.g. fellowships, internships, submission and production opportunities, personalized events.

    View a complete list of Upcoming Events.

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